Republicans would like Americans to have the ‘freedom” to get their hands on any form of firearm imaginable including military grade assault weapons while Democrats would like to see all guns banned from the country.
As usual, the intelligent solution is probably somewhere in the middle.
Completely removing all guns from a population seems to have a positive impact on the number of mass shootings but also seems to have a negative impact on the level of violent crime.
Let’s look at Australia as an example as this is a nation that most recently banned firearms from their population.
Australia banned virtually all firearms from their population in 1996 following the Port Arthur Massacre where 35 people were killed and another 21 were wounded in a mass shooting. Since that time there has not been another mass shooting in Australia, but Australia’s violent crime rates have also skyrocketed.
According to Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, since 1996 assault has risen by 49.2 percent, robbery has risen by 12.9 percent, rape has increased by 29.9 percent and the overall violent crime rate has risen by a staggering 42.2 percent.
During this same period of time U.S. violent crime actually decreased by 31.8 percent while rape dropped by 19.2 percent, robbery dropped by 33.2 percent and aggravated assault decreased by 32.2 percent.
So the argument that a complete ban on guns would all of a sudden decrease all forms of violent crime simply does not make sense in the face of statistics. In fact, based on these statistics, banning guns may actually have a direct correlation to an increase in other forms of violent crime.
That being said, Australia has also not had a mass shooting since 1996 and you are 15 times less likely to be the victim of gun violence in Australia when compared to America.
So, what do all of these statistics tell us?
Well, perhaps the truly correct answer is somewhere in between a firearm free-for-all and an all-out gun ban.
Perhaps allowing people to own a handgun to protect themselves and their families while banning all other forms of firearms could be the answer in keeping violent crime down while also drastically reducing the threat of mass shootings and decreasing the number of innocent victims of gun-related violence.
If you have no way to protect yourself and your family, obviously criminals will become more emboldened and your crime rate will increase just as we have seen in Australia.
However, if you allow easy access to any form of firearm under the sun you are also going to see a frequent number of mass shootings and very high rates of gun violence, just as we have seen in America.
Whenever violence occurs the easy thing to do is make a rash decision based almost entirely on emotion. This is why every time we see an innocent victim of gun violence we scream about how all guns must be banned…while when we see an unarmed family murdered by home intruders we scream about why people need to carry guns to protect themselves and their families.
The intelligent thing to do is take a deep breath, sit back for a moment and dig into the actual statistics.
And based on these stats, the correct answer is somewhere in between…the only problem with that solution is that our political parties have yet to meet in the middle on anything in decades, which is why we are unlikely to see any significant changes to America’s gun laws in the near future.
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